When I hear the word feast, the first things that come to mind are large plates of delicious food, an abundance of wine, friends and laughter… and this is exactly what you can expect from Harvest Table's FEAST gatherings.
Launched at the beginning of the year, FEAST features the deliciously fresh cuisine of Chef Charlie Palmer and Chef Levi Mezick at Harvest Table in Saint Helena, alongside a lineup of wine pairings. For each dinner, a new winery joins the team to showcase their wines in conjunction with the decadent, creative dishes that continue to grace the restaurant's fresh menu.
The first FEAST was hosted on January 15th and featured St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery. Consecutive dates are currently scheduled. Coming up next month, don't miss feasting with Silver Oak Cellars on April 15th at 6pm.
During each FEAST, family-style dishes are brought to the table on large plates and passed around in cooperative, friendly fashion. The simple act of passing plates brings about conversation and smiles among the guests. Each of the dishes is artfully paired with the featured wines of the evening, and like any feast, warmhearted conversation, plentiful laughter and new friendships abound.
The Inaugural FEAST with St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery
In the case of the first FEAST, the selection of three St. Supery wines and a cocktail made from their own spirits matched the dishes beautifully, and certainly stimulated amiable conversation.
Sauvignon Blanc & Beets
As the night kicked off, introductions were made as guests sipped on St. Supery's 2014 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc during the reception—which also featured passed hors d'oeuvres of Golden Beet, Apple and Goat Cheese Crostini, and Mussels Veloutè with Herb Oil. These savory dishes prepped the taste buds perfectly and poised palates for the sumptuous Sauvignon Blanc. Full of tropical fruit on the nose, the 2014 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc boasts excellent acidity balanced by roundness on the palate; flavors of grapefruit, lime and peach mingle in pitch-perfect harmony. Underlying notes of caramel and smokiness lead to a juicy, lengthy finish.
Already rather familiar after the reception, guests dine together at the family-style tables on the comfortable patio. To start, plates of Crispy Pork Belly with Molé, Smoked-Salt Almonds and Shishito Peppers were passed around. Tender, juicy and full of rich flavor, this pork belly dish found its match with the St. Supery 2012 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Malbec, which is very round and full with tons of concentrated plum and dried fruit, spices and layers of complexity that unfold gracefully on the palate. The Malbec does wonders with the molé, enhancing its sweet and tangy flavors, which simultaneously bring out the more peppery nuances and notes of dark chocolate in the wine. Together, they have wonderful synergy on the palate.
By this time in the night, guests are incredibly friendly with each other and a pleasant buzz of chatter fills the air. This convivial atmosphere is only pleasantly interrupted by the arrival of more wonderful cuisine. Of course, as the dishes arrive and even in between dishes, the wine is flowing—as Sommelier Lauren Helm and Food & Beverage Director Michael Kowalski make sure to the keep glasses full.
Cabernet & Steak
A beautifully plated main dish of Hanger Steak "Wellington," Roasted Root Vegetables, Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms and Sauce Pèrigourdinei was served alongside St. Supery's 2012 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon. This Cabernet boasts gorgeous aromatics of currants, blackberry, earth, mint and cocoa. On the palate, the wine is teeming with blackberry, cocoa and dark chocolate, followed by softer notes of mint and baking spices; the texture is round, the tannins are soft, and the finish is long and dry. With the steak, a dish full of flavor and contrasting textures, the Cabernet was of course gorgeously suited. The pairing certainly played with textures, given the wine's dryness and soft tannins, while the umami-rich sauce pèrigourdinei brought out the baking spices in the wine. Together, the two create a mouthful of deep, rich flavors with a lot of depth and roundness on the palate.
Moscato Cocktail & Panna Cotta
To finish, a nutty Macadamia Panna Cotta with Vanilla Bean-Poached Tatsuma and a Lace Cookie was creatively paired with a Moscato cocktail of St. Supery's house-made Andrew Jackson Dollarhide spirit, whipped up with lime juice, pear shrub, ginger beer and bay leaf. A zesty, tangy, earthy and fruity cocktail, this was quite tasty with the panna cotta. The nuttiness of the panna cotta enhanced the ginger, and the panna cotta's creaminess contrasted the zesty nature of the beverage. This was delicious, creative and a lot of fun to experience—as was the entire FEAST gathering, which left many of us exchanging phone numbers and hugging goodbye.
Join Harvest Table for the next FEAST and delight in the experience of delicious food, an abundance of wine, new friends and plenty of laughter.